I’ll get straight to the point. If you are getting less than 7-8 hours of sleep as an adult, even for 1 night, then you could be on the road to gaining weight and impacting your outlook in whatever you do. Sounds dramatic? It’s true.
Here’s 4 reasons why getting 7-8 hours of sleep is so important.
1. Lack of sleep makes you want more to take in more calories (specifically fat) the next day. This, depending on which study you read, can be 300-550 calories a day. Over a month or so, that could be the difference in a whole clothing size or a serious change in body composition.
2. Want to add insult to injury and maximize your weight gain? The increased eating and hunger from lack of sleep we just talked about then drives you to produce less leptin and more ghrelin (the opposite of what you want). Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells that decreases your appetite. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite and plays a role in body weight. So, double whammy of potential weight gain.
3. Lack of sleep causes inflammation. Even in healthy people, lack of sleep triggers shifts in the certain cell signalers (called pro-inflammatory cytokines) that are associated with the future development of metabolic syndrome disease (aka obesity). In some studies, this type of inflammation has been linked to pain and various disease.
4. Sleep impacts your emotional intelligence and your ability to interpret other people’s feelings and signals. Sleep deprivation has been associated in numerous studies to a decrease in interpersonal skills, impulse control, self-regard, assertiveness, and empathy. Is it any wonder that after a night of poor sleep you hate everyone and cling to your coffee as your only source of joy?
So… if nothing else, I’m appealing to your vanity and self worth. Because who doesn’t want to look and feel better?
If you have trouble getting to bed earlier
Work on at least getting to bed at the same time every night. That may mean minimizing social media, cutting off TV or Netflix time, or setting an alarm to remind you to start your evening routine. Or, consider outsourcing or streamlining some of the tasks that you do each afternoon to make more time for you. For example, you could bulk meal prep twice a week instead of making lunches for the next day every night. Or, you can have groceries or home items delivered to your door so you don’t have to run errands in the evening. Any way you tackle it, develop a consistent daily routine that allows you 7-8 hours of great sleep. You and everyone around you will be grateful.
Also, follow me on snapchat at “sorayaturner” for more easy time saving health tips.